Everyone in Suffolk is being asked to test twice a week and to take their vaccine as soon as it is offered to them.
Of the Suffolk population of 761,350, a total of 629,889 are eligible to receive the vaccine.
NHS vaccination figures show that of those eligible, many have had two doses, but almost 40% have only had one dose – or no vaccine at all. That figure does not even include children who are not eligible for a vaccine but can – and do – get infected.
This means that almost four in ten people in Suffolk have had either one or no jabs at all and therefore risk catching the virus or passing it on to other people.
Here’s what you can do to protect yourself, your friends and your family from catching and spreading COVID-19.
GET YOUR VACCINE
Everyone over the age of 18 in the UK can now book their COVID-19 vaccination.
You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS.
• reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
• reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19
• protect against COVID-19 variants
Book your vaccine at nhs.uk/coronavirusvaccine
Although the vaccine is highly effective – more than 80% after two doses – one dose is only around 33% effective.
Make sure you book both doses to get the maximum protection the vaccine offers.
Everyone can do their bit in curbing the spread of COVID-19 by testing regularly. The more cases of infection that can be identified and isolated the harder we make it for the virus to spread throughout Suffolk.
Used regularly, lateral flow tests can help pick up the presence of the virus in a person. It is important to test regularly even if you have no symptoms, as 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not show any symptoms.
If you are regularly attending school, college, or further education, you can test regularly to help keep yourself, your friends and your family safe.
The more people either with the virus or who have been exposed to it that we can identify and isolate, the less chance there is of them passing it on to others who may be only partially vaccinated or who have not had the vaccine at all and are at risk.
Lateral flow kits can be ordered online at GOV.UK, by calling NHS 119, you can get them from any library or pharmacy in Suffolk.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you must isolate immediately and book a PCR test online at GOV.UK.
Remember: Hands, Face, Space and let fresh air in!
There are simple things we can all do to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or use a hand sanitiser. Wash your hands for 20 approximately seconds. Some good times to wash your hands are:
• When you arrive at school, college or University, and when you get home,
• before and after you eat or prepare food
• after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
• after using the toilet
If you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people.
There are some places where you must wear a face covering, such as:
• on public transport
• in shops
• when you go to hospital appointments or visit someone in hospital
Stay at least 2 meters (3 steps) apart from people you are not meeting with.
The fewer people you meet, particularly over a short space of time, the lower your chances are of picking up and spreading COVID-19.
There is a chance you might still get or spread COVID-19 even if you have a vaccine, so it’s important to continue to follow all social distancing guidance.
Let fresh air into your home by opening windows, doors and air vents as much as possible.
An infected person releases COVID-19 particles into the air by coughing, talking or simply breathing.
When you are in enclosed spaces the infected particles can build up over time and remain suspended in the air, so those in the room are more likely to breathe in the infected particles, especially if there is no ventilation. As we begin to meet others inside, it’s so important we open windows so fresh air can disperse and blow COVID-19 particles away.
Remember: when you let friends in, let fresh air in too.
Isolation – if you have symptoms of COVID-19, or come into contact with somebody who later tests positive, you must isolate immediately.
This means you:
• do not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
• do not go on public transport or use taxis
• do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
• do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
• do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one
Visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus for more information about COVID-19